We live in very fluid times and consequently the manner in which we approach what motivates our employees requires a very different thought process. Think in terms of how doing business has changed over the last 50 years. The advent of technology and globalization has very much changed the landscape and this can be illustrated by considering some of the following shifts that have occurred.
From Repetitive to Creative
People producing identical widgets as part of a mass production process have been replaced by undocumented processes where employees have to use their creative capabilities to complete multiple tasks and outputs. Solutions are not obvious and therefore people require analytical, problem solving and communication skills to achieve desired results.
From Directed to Autonomous
Leadership has had to adjust from being the driver of making things happen to becoming the facilitator of desired results. Of course people still need to understand expectations and receive feedback, but also want the freedom to execute the tasks necessary to achieve required outputs.
From Physical Labor to Intellectual Labor
80% of all new jobs created in the US today are for work involving one’s intellectual capacity. Much of the traditional labor has either been outsourced or automated so developed countries have had to re-invent themselves to create an economy driven by brain power. Consequently people are more educated and come with much higher levels of expectation.
From Local to Global
Accessibility to the internet and other technologies has created markets that are now based on a much broader global model with even greater transparency. We now live with global accessibility for even the most routine of services. If you want an electrician, you can go online and easily find hundreds within a 50 mile radius, so nobody is exempt.
All of these changes dramatically affect, not only the qualifications of people hired, but also what motivates them. What do you think motivates this new workforce most?
a) The extrinsic factors such as money and rewards or,
b) The intrinsic drivers such as challenge, autonomy and recognition.